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Category: Biographies
  • The Vital Era

    In the past century, few have done more to establish the Air Force and its logistics enterprise as we know it today than Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr; fewer still are as unique. An early aviator, Knerr established the first airlift mission and led the procurement effort for the B-17 with Gen Frank Andrews before WWII. After which he led a campaign for the autonomous air force that put him at odds with the War Dept and the White House. During WWII, Knerr led logistics planning efforts to mobilize the Eighth Air Force in European Theater of Operations (ETO) and later amassed theaterwide authority of logistics, aligning the entire logistics effort of the Army Air Forces (AAF) in the ETO. Among many career accomplishments, Knerr ended his career as the USAF’s first Inspector General establishing the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and is accredited with designing the USAF’s dress blue uniform. Little known fact, Knerr’s aviation interests began as a child at the mouth of the wellspring, building kites and scrubbing toilets for the Wright Brothers at their bicycle shop. His memoirs penned in the months preceding his death in 1971, now published, give a personal insight into this formative period of the Air Force and offer the perspective only one of its architects could tell. Further, his pursuit of innovation, disruption of barriers, and challenges to the status quo are exceptionally relevant to present day Air Force as it seeks to accelerate change
    [David A. Loska / 2021 / no. 208 / 978-1-58566-308-8 / AU Press Code: no. B-170]

  • Brothers in Berets: The Evolution of Air Force Special Tactics 1953-2003

    Relying largely on oral history interviews, this work explores the evolution and contributions of the Battlefield Airmen assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) special tactics units over 50 years. “Their story deserves telling within the US Air Force and to the general public,” notes Gen John Jumper, USAF, retired. Battlefield Airmen core competencies include performing duties primarily on the ground, often “outside the wire,” and under austere conditions—all skills needed for carrying the fight to the enemy on the ground. The AFSOC special tactics community is a small brotherhood of highly trained and equally dedicated warriors consisting of special tactics officers and combat controllers, combat rescue officers and pararescuemen, and officer and enlisted special operations weathermen. Its members have proven themselves as force multipliers time and time again throughout their history in places like Somalia, Serbia, and the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. [Dr. Forrest L. Marion / 2018 / 429 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: B-149]

  • Letters of Second Lieutenant Charles Wesley Chapman, Jr.

    Charles Wesley Chapman, known to his friends as Carl, was killed in an aeroplane battle northeast of Toul, France, on May 3, 1918, and fell behind the German lines. He is buried near Remoncourt on the Franco-German border, but in French territory. He enlisted for service with the Franco-American Ambulance Corps, and sailed for France on May 19, 1917. He joined the French Army as a member of the Franco-American Flying Corps because he discovered that men for the Flying Corps were badly needed, He went through the French Schools at Avord, Pau, Cazaux, and Plessis-Belleville. In January 1918, he transferred to the American Army and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, going to the front with the 94th Aero Squadron. These letters were published for private circulation in February 1919. [2LT Charles Wesley Chapman, Jr. USAAS / 2016 / 158 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-255-5 / AU Press Code: B-141]

  • The Air Commanders' Perspectives

    This compendium presents a candid and comprehensive commentary on what worked and what did not work during NATO air operations in Afghanistan. The key to the book’s value is revealed in its subtitle. Editor Dag Henriksen has compiled the perspectives of nine general officers who served in top airpower leadership positions in Afghanistan during the 2005–10 time frame. Since most were retired at the time of their writing, they were free to call it as they saw it. The result is not a condemnation of any particular group or strategy, but rather an objective review of lessons learned and recommendations for how joint and combined forces can better work together in a counterinsurgency or counterterrorism environment. Henriksen compiled this work while serving as an exchange officer to the US Air Force Research Institute (AFRI), Maxwell AFB, Alabama, in 2012. [Dag Henriksen / 2014 / 340 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-235-7 / AU Press Code: B-135]

  • On a Steel Horse I Ride

    The "Steel Horses." Born of necessity in the long war in Southeast Asia to fly search and rescue and special operations missions, the US Air Force fleet of 52 HH-53s and 20 CH-53s were subsequently modified with state-of-the-art precision navigation capability under a program called Pave Low and redesignated as MH-53J/Ms. Assigned as part of our special operations forces, they then flew in every major US military action until their inactivation in Iraq in September 2008. But the story is not just about the helicopters. It is also about the great Airmen who conceptualized, created, operated, maintained, loved, and, yes, sometimes cursed their Steel Horses. They and their great aircraft were the reality of the motto Any Time, Any Place. This is their story, the men and machines, from first to last, presented with deepest appreciation and respect for them and their service to our nation. [Darrel D. Whitcomb / 2012 / 774 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-220-3 / AU Press Code: B-128]

  • Following the Flag

    General Leavitt’s career coincided exactly with much of the period comprising the Cold War era. The path he took through the military provides a rare behind-the-scenes view of events that are in turn startling, unpredictable, sobering, and entertaining. These accounts weave together a most unique chronicle of the decades from the mid-1940s until the early 1980s. He had a front seat not only to the people and incidents that made headlines but also to conversations and episodes to which only a few were privy. His accounts will enlarge the perception of this distinctive time span in our military-political history. General Leavitt’s flying assignments included fighters, bombers, and the U-2. His final assignment was Vice Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Air Command. [Lt Gen Lloyd R. “Dick” Leavitt, USAF, Retired / 2010 / 659 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-205-0 / AU Press Code: B-114]

  • The Air University Pantheon of Air, Space, and Cyberspace Power Thinkers [ONLINE ONLY]

    An initiative of Gen Steven R. Lorenz, former Air University commander, the Air University Pantheon of Air, Space, and Cyberspace Power Thinkers is an effort to identify the intellectual roots of Air University. Together, these biographies provide a framework for understanding the evolution of Air University and its powerful legacy in providing a forum for academic discourse, contributing to dramatic changes in the employment of airpower. Air University has been graced with individuals possessing imagination and keen intellect and the fortitude to bring their vision to reality. May their examples inspire a future generation to add its fresh ideas and unconventional viewpoints so that the Air Force can continue to preserve America’s peace and security. In part because Air University serves as a forum for innovative thought and discussion, the United States continues to be the preeminent air, space, and cyberspace power. [2009 / 120 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-192-3 / AU Press Code: B-117]

  • Velocity, Speed with Direction

    This storyline addresses the only question mark on O’Malley’s career—the Lavelle raids of February 1972. Using appropriate Nixon White House audio recordings and top secret messages (sent by the Joint chiefs of Staff to Vietnam) that were acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, Aloysius and Patrick Casey rescued from character assassination the reputation not only of Jerry O’Malley but also the reputation of Gen John D. Lavelle. They reveal the real culprit in the matter—the Nixon White House. [Aloysius G. Casey and Patrick A. Casey / 2007 / 294 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-169-5 / AU Press Code: B-110]

  • Airpower Leadership on the Front Line

    Colonel Cox examines the command of Lt Gen George H. Brett in his wartime assignments. General Brett’s leadership did not take him to four stars, why? Cox looks at the reasons why he was not promoted, especially, as he began his war time service second in command to Gen Henry “Hap” Arnold. In his examination Cox shows the reader Brett’s outstanding leadership, his limitations, and delves into the interplay of broader factors that ultimately impacted General Brett’s career. This book provides insight toward becoming an effective commander and leader. [Lt Col Douglas A. Cox, USAF / 2006 / 114 pages / ISBN: 1-58566-157-0 / AU Press Code: B-103]

  • Reflections of a Technocrat

    In documenting his wide-ranging career in science and technology, Dr. McLucas offers new information and insights on the history of key private-sector and government agencies during the Cold War era—most prominently, the US Air Force. After naval service in World War II, he began a long affiliation with the Air Force as a civilian engineer and Air National Guard officer. He continued this affiliation as president of both a pioneering high-tech company and the Air Force-sponsored MITRE Corporation. He also worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and became NATO’s top scientific officer. His contributions to the Air Force culminated with service as its undersecretary and secretary in the challenging and transforming period from 1969 through 1975, during which time he also directed the national Reconnaissance Office. Dr. McLucas’s insider’s account of those years divulges details about Pentagon politics, coping with the Vietnam War, developing new aircraft and other systems, and expanding equal opportunities for minorities and women. After next heading the Federal Aviation Administration, he became an executive in the Communications Satellite Corporation. Following retirement, he remained an active and influential proponent of science and technology, especially in space. The coauthors completed this book after Dr. McLucas’s death in December 2002. [Dr. John L. McLucas with Kenneth J. Alnwick and Lawrence R. Benson / 2006 / 390 pages / ISBN: 1-58566-156-2 / AU Press Code: B-101]